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Income Tax Department Warns Against False Claims in IT Returns

Last updated: 04 July 2024


The Income Tax Department has issued a stern warning to taxpayers, cautioning against filing income tax returns with false claims for exemptions and deductions. Officials highlighted the severe consequences of such actions, which include substantial penalties and potential imprisonment.

In collaboration with the South Central Railway (SCR), the IT Department organized an 'Outreach Awareness Programme' on July 2 in Vijayawada to educate employees about the importance of accurate tax filings. The event aimed to empower employees with knowledge about tax compliance and to discourage reliance on middlemen who might submit fraudulent claims on their behalf.

Income Tax Department Warns Against False Claims in IT Returns

Key Takeaways from the Awareness Programme

1. Importance of Self-Filing: Vijayawada Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Narendra A. Patil emphasized the risks associated with using intermediaries for filing tax returns. "If the middlemen misguide us and file returns with false claims, you (the assessee) will land in trouble," he stated. He urged employees to invest time in understanding tax laws and filing their returns independently to avoid potential legal issues.

2. Stringent Penalties for Fraudulent Claims: Income Tax Joint Commissioner N. Abhinaya highlighted the program's theme, which focused on empowering employees to comply with tax laws. She revealed that during the financial years 2022-23 and 2023-24, several salaried employees had filed false claims. "Consequences of wrongful deductions will be severe. Fraudulent claims will attract a penalty at 200%, besides imprisonment," Ms. Abhinaya warned.

3. Widespread Misconduct Identified: The I-T Department's verification processes in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana uncovered numerous instances of incorrect exemptions and deductions, leading to substantial refunds claimed fraudulently. The department has taken action against consultants and intermediaries involved in these malpractices.

Conclusion

The Income Tax Department's recent outreach program serves as a critical reminder for taxpayers to prioritize accuracy and honesty in their filings. By understanding and complying with tax laws, individuals can avoid severe penalties and legal repercussions. Stay informed, file your returns correctly, and ensure a trouble-free tax season.

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